Thugs who kidnapped and 'tortured to death' DJ in empty bar near Tottenham Hotspur Stadium jailed

12 December 2023, 22:13

Mehmet Koray Alpergin and his girlfriend, Gozde Dalbudak, were abducted as they returned home from an expensive Italian restaurant
Mehmet Koray Alpergin and his girlfriend, Gozde Dalbudak, were abducted as they returned home from an expensive Italian restaurant. Picture: Alamy/Social media

By Emma Soteriou

The thugs who kidnapped and killed a popular radio DJ in an empty bar near Tottenham Hotspur Stadium have been jailed.

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Mehmet Koray Alpergin and his girlfriend, Gozde Dalbudak, were snatched as they returned home from an Italian restaurant in Mayfair in October 2022.

They were taken to a wine bar backing on to White Hart Lane, where 43-year-old Mr Alpergin, a father-of-two, was "tortured to death", the Old Bailey was told at a trial which ended last month.

A post-mortem examination found evidence that he had been beaten with a baseball bat, scalded with boiling water and had the soles of his feet stabbed, while there was also bruising to his genitals.

His body was dumped in woodland in Essex while 34-year-old Ms Dalbudak spent two days locked in a toilet before being freed by her captors.

Ms Dalbudak, who has since returned to her home in Turkey, recalled her boyfriend telling her "my love, don't be scared" and "sorry, my love" before he cried out in pain as he was beaten.

Read more: Thugs guilty of killing DJ after torturing him to death while kidnapped partner heard his dying screams

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Jurors found Tejean Kennedy, 33, and Ali Kavak, 26, guilty of the kidnap and false imprisonment of the couple and Mr Alpergin's manslaughter.

Samuel Owusu-Opoku, 35, was found guilty of two counts of kidnap, while Steffan Gordon, 34, had admitted kidnap and was found guilty of two counts of false imprisonment.

Kavak was also convicted of perverting the course of justice by helping to dispose of Mr Alpergin's body and destroying two vehicles by fire. Owusu-Opoku admitted the charge.

Two more suspects are still at large and are believed to have fled abroad.

At the Old Bailey on Tuesday, Judge Sarah Whitehouse KC said drugs were "at the heart" of the case, referencing evidence by prosecutors that it was related to "international organised crime".

Describing the moment Mr Alpergin and his girlfriend was kidnapped, Judge Whitehouse said: "They were attacked by a group of males and bundled into the back of a van.

"Ms Dalbudak was locked in a lavatory. She was terrified and cold.

"That first night, Ms Dalbudak had to listen to the sound of Koray Alpergin being tortured and there was no doubt that he was tortured to death."

Mr Alpergin, who was originally from northern Cyprus, was a well-known and popular figure in the British Turkish community.

His body was found by a dog walker after being dumped in woods near Loughton in Essex on October 15, 2022.

He suffered 94 separate injuries to his body including cuts and bruises, broken ribs, a heavy blow to the head and strangulation marks to the neck.

Judge Whitehouse sentenced Kavak, from Tottenham, to 13 years' imprisonment and Kennedy, of Cricklewood Broadway, to 20 years.

Gordon, of Northolt, was sentenced to eight years and Owusu-Opoku, of Wood Green, to seven years' imprisonment.

Yigit Hurman, 18, from Muswell Hill, north London, who admitted perverting the course of justice, was sentenced to two years.